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How to Know if Your Heart Chakra is Blocked

How to Know if Your Heart Chakra is Blocked

Our body has seven wheels of energy known as chakras that start at the crown of the head and travel down to the base of the spine. When these wheels of energy spin in balance, it allows Qi energy (in other words life force energy), to flow freely throughout the body.

But your well-being can suffer if stress, emotional upheaval, or anxiety blocks the chakras. There are seven chakras in the body and the fourth one is the Heart Chakra (also known as the Anahata in Sanskrit). 

To keep your Heart Chakra open, you need to understand its characteristics, and how to look out for signs of a Heart Chakra blockage.

What is the Heart Chakra?

If you’re familiar with the chakras, then you’ll know that they play an important role in the health of our emotional and physical body.

But did you know that the Heart Chakra or Anahata is often thought of as the most important of the seven primary chakras? That’s because it governs our ability to love ourselves and others. 

The Heart Chakra is inspired by love and divinity, allowing you to give and receive love without restriction. Anahata is a Sanskrit word which means “unbeaten” or “unstruck”.

It is located in the energy center of the chest, in the heart region. You can think of the Heart Chakra as the bond connecting the lower chakras – the Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra and Solar Plexus Chakra – and the upper chakras – the Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra and Crown Chakra.

It is symbolized by a green lotus flower and its corresponding element is air, both of which say a lot about the Heart Chakra:

heart Chakra symbol
Heart Chakra symbol

The Life-Giving Element of Air

Air or Vayu is the element of the Anahata Chakra. Air is our life force energy, connecting all the other elements and enabling us to grow and thrive. Just like air, the Heart Chakra is the energy center which binds the energetic body together and allows us to embrace everything life has to offer.  

The Life-Giving Element of Air

Green is the color of nature, growth and rebirth. Just like in nature, our Heart Chakra is the essence which gives life to the other parts of our being and allows us to grow and build new connections. The color green is also often associated with tenderness, compassion and balance.  

The Heart Chakra at a Glance

  • Sanskrit name: Anahata which means “unstruck” or “unhurt”.
  • Location: In the heart center in the middle of the chest. 
  • Color: Green
  • Element: Air
  • Signs of a balanced Heart Chakra: Healthy platonic and intimate relationships, forgiveness, empathy and compassion. 
  • Signs of an imbalanced Heart Chakra: Fear of intimacy, unhealthy relationships, emotional instability, depression and disconnection. Physical issues include problems with the heart, lungs and circulation.

How Do You Know If Your Heart Chakra is Blocked?

There are lots of different ways that a blockage of the Heart Chakra can manifest, and it will be different for every individual. 

Here are some common signs of Heart Chakra blockage:

#1 Lack of Empathy

One of the main signs of a blocked Anahata Chakra is a lack of empathy. If you find yourself struggling to understand and relate to others then it could be a sign that you need to spend some time unblocking your Heart Chakra. 

#2 Inability to Set Boundaries

An inability to set boundaries indicates that we might be experiencing an imbalance in the Heart Chakra. Relationship boundaries are essential in a balanced and harmonious relationship. If you struggle with setting them then it could signify that you are showing more love externally than giving to yourself.

Sometimes, a failure to set boundaries is also linked with feelings of guilt. If you think this could be the case, then it might be worth working on your Sacral Chakra too as guilt is a common symptom of a Sacral Chakra blockage

#3 Unhealthy Relationships

Are you feeling stuck in a toxic relationship? Or are you feeling unappreciated and like your relationship is very one sided?

If so, this could be another sign that your Heart Chakra is in need of healing. When your Heart Chakra is blocked or out of balance, it can be difficult to fully love and value yourself. It can be tricky to set boundaries and express love in a healthy way – all these behaviors are the perfect recipe for an unhealthy relationship. 

#4 Inability to Forgive

Are you holding on to old grudges? Do you struggle to forgive people?

The ability to forgive is a function of a healthy Heart Chakra so if you’re struggling to let go of past wounds then there is a strong chance that your Anahata needs some attention. 

#5 Anger and Trust Issues

All of us struggle with anger and trusting people from time to time, but if you have been carrying these emotions for a while then it could be a sign that your Heart Chakra is out of balache. 

Issues with anger and trust can often manifest themselves in unhealthy behaviors such as being controlling, defensive or unable to commit. 

Trust issues and anger go hand in hand with our ability to forgive. To move past them we need compassion (for ourselves and others) and these come from the Heart Chakra. You can only overcome anger and commitment issues by loving yourself and forgiving the world around you.

#6 Physical Issues

In addition to emotional issues, you can also experience physical signs of a blocked Heart Chakra and they are often connected to our blood flow. High or low blood pressure, problems with the heart and lungs, poor circulation, chest pain, and respiratory issues are all commonly associated with a Heart Chakra blockage.  

Symptoms of a Heart Chakra blockage
Symptoms of a Heart Chakra blockage

What’s the Difference Between an Underactive Heart Chakra and an Overactive Heart Chakra?

When we talk about the Heart Chakra being blocked, we’re talking generally about a state in which the Heart Chakra isn’t spreading energy around the body in a balanced way. 

A blocked Heart Chakra can be underactive or overactive. 

An under-active Heart Chakra means a blocked state where you feel isolated and disconnected from nature and the cosmos. You could have a fear of intimacy and may find yourself becoming depressed. 

In contrast, a healthy Heart Chakra can easily send and receive love. You will feel compassionate, loved, and empathetic to others.

An overactive Heart Chakra can make you feel overwhelmed and emotionally unstable – you’re likely to be overly sensitive, or needy in your relationships. You will often give more love and affection than you receive, leading to unhealthy behaviors. That’s because, in such a situation, you will be giving out more and receiving less.

An under-active or overactive Heart Chakra is not a good thing. If you think you could be suffering with any of these symptoms of a heart chakra blockage then it’s worth spending time to heal and rebalance this important energy center. 

What Causes a Blocked Heart Chakra?

When you’re working out whether your Heart Chakra is blocked, it’s helpful to understand what might cause a blockage in the first place. 

The causes of a Heart Chakra blockage will differ from person to person, but any experience which has caused you pain and suffering, particularly in terms of a relationship can be a trigger.

Common causes of a blocked Heart Chakra include:

  • Childhood trauma (e.g. difficult parental or family relationships)
  • Abandonment issues
  • Abusive adult relationships
  • Grief or a relationship breakdown
  • Low self-esteem 
  • Periods of intense stress and anxiety

All of us are likely to have experiences during our lives which impact our Heart Chakra. The important thing is to recognise when we need some extra self care to get our Heart Chakra back in balance.

If you think you may be carrying pain from past trauma then it’s important to work through these emotions so they don’t impact your relationships and your emotional wellbeing. 

It might be helpful to seek advice from a trained professional in addition to using some of the chakra healing techniques we go into below. 

How to Heal a Heart Chakra Blockage

When you think you might have a Heart Chakra blockage, what’s the best way to go about unblocking it?

There are lots of different options to choose from but some of our favorite techniques include:

Yoga Poses and Asanas

Yoga is a fantastic way to heal your mind and body at the same time. And the great thing is there are lots of different poses (or asanas) which will specifically help direct healing energy to your heart center.

Poses like Downward Facing Dog or the Cobra Pose help to stretch and open out your chest and upper back so you can release tension from the area of your Heart Chakra.

Downward facing dog yoga pose

Crystals and Stones

Crystals and precious stones are another way to send positive energy to your Heart Chakra. Stones like Rose Quartz or green stones like jade or emerald are said to emit healing energies which are ideal for boosting your Heart Chakra. 

You could wear these stones as chakra jewelry or place them around your home to clear the energies in your home. 

Chakra Meditation Techniques

Chakra meditation is another powerful way to work through challenging emotions and bring focus to your chakras. Some people find that it helps to visualize the Heart Chakra as you meditate. You could try something simple like:

  • Sit in a comfortable position
  • Feel your chest rise and fall as you take slow deep breaths
  • Visualize a powerful green light in your heart space and feel it spread throughout your body with each exhale
  • Keep returning to this mental picture until you feel calm and restored at your Heart Chakra.

Another option is to carry out a kindness meditation which involves a series of mantras centered on sending love and compassion to others.

For more chakra healing techniques, check out our 20 ways to heal your chakras guide.  

Begin Unblocking Your Anahata Today

If you think that your Heart Chakra could be blocked, don’t panic! Chakra healing is an ongoing practice and all of us will have imbalances that we need to work through from time to time.

It’s worth doing the work as a balanced Heart Chakra is central to our emotional and mental wellbeing. When it is able to flow freely we can experience love for ourselves and others – enabling us to live our lives in peace and harmony. 


  • Clare Smith

    Hi, I’m Clare – writer and publisher of Chakra Practice. I’m a certified chakra energy healer and a philosophy major. I love researching and writing about everything to do with chakras, including trying out new crystals, candles, essential oils – anything that can help me in my practice.